Thanks for your question. I believe your best starting point would be
the U.S. Small Business Administration's Office of Veterans Business
Development (http://www.sba.gov/vets/). The site contains a
comprehensive list of lending programs targeted to small business
The main such lending program is the 7(a) Loan Guaranty Program.
Please see http://www.sba.gov/financing/fr7aloan.html for more
information on this program. It is not directed towards
veteran-businesses in particular, but it is by far the largest U.S.
federal loan program for small businesses and veterans receive "prompt
and priority processing of any loan application"
Depending on the size of your proposed business, another interesting
alternative might be the so-called "LowDoc" program. It is part of the
"7(a) Loan Guaranty Program" and provides an unbureaucratic way to
receive small start-up loans up to $150,000. The Small Business
Administration promises a response within 36 hours after receiving a
full application. Please see
http://www.sba.gov/financing/frlowdoc.html for more information on
In addition to these two loan programs mentioned above, the Office of
Veterans Business Development lists 4 other federal loan programs
administered through the Small Business Administration on its web
page: http://www.sba.gov/vets/lending.html Some of these loans have
particular strings attached to them (e.g. only for export companies),
but it's definitely worth taking a look at them as well.
In addition to these loans programs, the Office of Veterans Business
Development provides "in-depth management counselling and training
assistance" through so-called Veterans Business Development Officers.
You can locate your particular Officer by clicking on the map on this
Yet another valuable resource might be the Veterans Business Outreach
Program. According to its website on http://www.sba.gov/vets/vbop.html
it is "designed to provide entrepreneurial development services such
as business training, counseling and mentoring to eligible veterans
owning or considering starting a small business" and has offices in
four locations across the U.S., which are all listed on this page.
If you are not opposed to reading through some legal jargon, the Small
Business Administration also has the full text of the "Veterans
Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development Act of 1999" posted on
its web page, which might provide you with some interesting
A much more readable summary of the law can be found on
Besides the Small Business Administration, another invaluable resource
would be the Department of Veterans Affairs' Center for Veterans
Enterprise, accessible through http://www.vetbiz.gov/
This home page includes numerous links to interesting loans and
One such program is the Veterans Transition Franchise Initiative, or
"VetFran". Please go to
http://www.franchise.org/memservice/vetfran.asp for more information
on this program.
Similar to the Small Business Administration's Office of Veterans
Business Development cited above, the Department of Veterans Affairs'
Center for Veterans Enterprise also provides much more than just
money. You can find a host of links on the bottom of their home page
(http://www.vetbiz.gov) covering everything from getting started with
your business plan" to management, marketing, and money issues.
Clicking on the "Money" link will lead you to
http://www.vetbiz.gov/finance/finance.htm which in turn lists a few
useful sites related to funding issues. Most of these links, however,
again return to the Small Business Administration's website cited
above, which I more and more believe is your best bet for a successful
Yet another interesting site is the Veterans Corporation, which aims
to serve as a business advocacy tool for Veterans and Service-Disabled
Veterans. You can find their site on http://www.veteranscorp.org/
This site requires a free registration, which will then enable you to
access their entire database of business financing resources
(accessible through the "Business Resources" link on top.
For some more general information about resources available to
aspiring veteran business owners, check out the Department of Veterans
Affairs "Fact Sheet" on the issue:
I was also searching for federal loans particularly targeted to
business benefitting physically handicapped people, but literally all
sites I came up with where in some form connected to loans for
veteran-run businesses, and virtually all of these sites in turn
linked back to the Small Business Administration's web page. Don't
worry, I don't work for these guys, nor do I have any other interest
associated with them, but after researching this question for a while,
I really do believe that your best starting point is the Small
Business Administration's Office of Veterans Business Development
(http://www.sba.gov/vets/), in particular also your local Veterans
Business Development Officer, who you can contact via
By the way, the search terms I used in google.com to come up with the
sites above where "veteran", "handicapped", "business", "start-up",
"loan" and various combinations of these terms.
I hope these links and tips are useful to you. All the best with your